Battling the Sedentary Lifestyle
Have you ever felt stiff and achy after sitting for a long period of time? Do you get in a bad mood when you are sedentary for too long? Well, that is simply because our bodies are not designed to sit – they are designed to move! We have muscles and joints that allow for movement, our blood flow depends on movement to circulate properly, our nerves benefit from movement, and movement is why our skin is elastic. When we don’t let our bodies get the physical activity that they depend on, they scream at us.
A lot goes on inside our bodies when we sit for too long. Most people slouch when they sit and that causes strain on the muscles of the back as they are stretched. When we are hunched over, our chest cavity is smaller which causes us to breathe in less oxygen. When we are sitting our joints and nerves get compressed with excessive pressure. Sometimes nerves and even blood flow will get blocked which causes swelling and numbness. And then, all of this reduced blood flow and oxygen reduces our level of concentration and slows brain activity.
After a while, these symptoms will escalate to bigger health problems and will increase our risk for cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes, strained neck and shoulders, back problems, muscle degeneration, varicose veins, and weaker bones. Basically, sitting wreaks havoc on our bodies.
In a culture where sitting takes up most of our day from commuting to work and sitting at a desk all day, we have to be intentional about getting enough physical activity every day. Here are our suggestions to help battle the sedentary lifestyle:
- Invest in a sit-to-stand desk or swap your chair for an exercise ball. These will help you activate more muscles while working. Read our last blog post about how to create a healthy office environment here.
- Fitness Trackers such as the Fitbit are great to help you move more throughout your day. They help you become aware of your physical activity as well as motivate you to reach your goals.
- Find an exercise routine and stick to it! Schedule your workouts into your week and make them a priority. We suggest finding a workout partner to help keep you accountable or working with a trainer. If you need a workout plan we suggest you try our Remote Personal Training program. It’s like having a personal trainer tell you what you need to do, show you how to do it, and keep you accountable, without the trainer actually being there in person. It’s much more affordable than a personal trainer as well!
- Form a walking group with some of your co-workers. Walk before work, on your lunch break, or after work. Walking will help you get more physical activity, clear your mind, and energize you!
- Stretch and exercises at your desk! Pick a different exercise every hour and get it done! Check our YouTube channel for desk stretch and desk exercise ideas!
A Stronger Workplace is a Corporate Wellness company in Atlanta, Georgia. A Stronger Workplace’s mision is to help companies be more productive and more efficient by educating and motivating employees to live a healthier lifestyle. A Stronger Workplace’s service include Workplace Wellness Programs, Lunch & Learns, Office Fitness Challenges, and Online Personal Training. Please contact Megan@astrongerworkplace.com for more information!